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Saga of my first Fatty

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the very long post, which is to follow, but I am confused and could use some advice.

First, some background information.

I am a fairly new member, a new smoker and smoking my first Fatty. I am using a GOSM 3405GW. I am one of the guys who could not get his GOSM down below 240-250F, so inserted a needle valve in line, according to advice I received here. This now allows me to easily get to the 190-200F range. But that is about as low as I can make it go.

I took a nice JD Sausage out of the wrap. Placed it on a flat counter, on top of a piece of wax paper. I put another piece of wax paper on top and proceed to flatten it out. I coated it with a sage/herb blend I keep around the house and some granulated garlic, then sprinkled grated cheddar cheese on it, sprinkled some finely diced onion on it and last but not least I sprinkled a little diced Jalapeno Pepper on it.

I rolled it up into a log, like I have seen in other posts, then sprinkled a little more sage/herb and granulated garlic on the outside. Then basted it with some Cranberry Juice.

I put in a small tin foil wrapped package of Apple chunks, with some holes poked in the foil About the time I got the smoker up to the 210F range, I started seeing some smoke. I put the Fatty on the middle rack, inserted the Taylor probe and started in on the smoking process.

At this point, everything seemed to be going OK.

In the 200F - 210F range, I couldn't keep any smoke coming. I know I looked for the TBS. Almost invisible, I have read. Problem was, mine was TOTALLY invisible. In fact no smell and no visibility. I had to go up to 225F-230F range to get smoke. Then it came out too heavy and temp was higher than I wanted. I kept dinking with the settings and needle valve. I can easily keep it at 200F, but that does not produce ANY smoke. When I do produce smoke, I am at 225F or higher. It is almost like my wood pan is too far away from the flame to smoke at lower temps. To get smoke I have to go to temps higher than I want. I finally took off the tin foil and put the chips and chunks directly in the pan. this helped a little, but not much.

I have been told to stop smoking at 140F and just cook from there on. Problem is that when it hit 140F almost no smoke had been generated yet. I was on the verge of getting a very nicely cooked but totally smokeless, Fatty. I turned the heat up a little and added chunks and smoked until 150F.

At the one hour mark, I basted it again with Cranberry Juice. The Fatty looks fantastic. I can easily keep playing this game of regulating the temp manually in the 200F to 225F range, but adding no more smoke. I suspect it is going to taste great. The problem is that I don't think it is going to have much, if any, smoke flavor.

At 2 hours exactly, internal temp hit the tartet 160F. I basted the Fatty again and she continues to look fabulous. Problem is, she has not had any smoke run against her in over an hour now. According to what I have been told, at this point, her temp is too high to absorb any more smoke. I have read, and been told, that I am shooting for an internal temp of 160F, and it should take from 2 to 3 hours. I am now facing a decision. She is at the target 160F so should be done and come out. Yet, she has only been in two hours and most say it should take longer. What I decided to do was to leave her on a low temp of approx 200F - 210F and continue a while longer. I split the difference of 2 hours and 3 hours, planning on taking her out at 2.5 hours. I will just live with the results. Which, as I said, I think will be great, just somewhat smokeless.

As it turned out, I kept an eye on her and actually left her in for the full three hours. Don't know why, but she just didn't look done to me. More of a gut feeling than anything.

I have never posted a picture before, but will try it now. Just so you can see how she looks. First picture is at two hours. Second picture is at three hours, when I took it off.

OK, there you have it. Please give me your advice, criticisms and such. I can use all I can get.


post #2 of 11
Great post describing your "smoke". The only thing that I would suggest to you is to smoke at 225-240F. Pork is a forgiving meat, and those temps will get you the smoke you want. I have the small GOSM. When I use it I don't put the top on the cast iron wood pan. Others here will replace that pan with a cake pan or a 55 oz bean can to allow the wood to smoke sooner. I have not had to do that. Fatties should take about 3 hours at 225-240 to reach 165F, which is the temp I take fatties to.

Hope this helps! Keep on askin', we'll keep on answerin'!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #3 of 11
OK friend ... you are making this harder than you need to.
If you are not getting smoke at the lower temps, then take the wood out of the foil. I only foil when the temps needed are on the high side, so as not to have my wood go up in flames.
You don't always need to see smoke to have smoke. Fatties should come off at 160º regardless of smoke penetration.
Stay with it friend ... you will get better!
post #4 of 11
I read Squeezy's post and then re-read yours. Squeezy is right, just put the wood (chunks or chips) right in the cast iron pan. Wood on iron will give the best heat transfer and quicker smoke. The foil pouch only slows down the heat transfer.

Hang in there!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #5 of 11
If you want lower temps and smoke just take a lit piece of charcoal place inside an iron skillet or similiar item then add wood chips to that and wahlah you have smoke
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Can't tell you how much I appreciate your responses.

On a previous attempt(not these Fattys) I used an old fashioned cast iron skillet. Put the un-wrapped chips and chunks in it with no cover. It took one hour to see smoke. Once I did see smoke, it came and went very quickly. I had read the complaint of how long cast iron took to come up to temp and how you could get the TBS, if wrapped in tin foil. So, on these Fattys I used a 2 inch high, round aluminum cake pan. I started by putting the tin foil wrapped chips and chunks in the pan. Still didn't get any smoke. Next, as I said, I unwapped them and put the chips and chunks directly in the pan, with no tin foil. This did work better, but then I was worried I was getting too much, too soon. But, that is the way I finished off the smoking process.
post #7 of 11
I wouldn't worry about using a little more heat to generate the smoke. It would be a big problem if you could not get the smoker to run under 250F. Try 225 and see if that doesn't help.

Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #8 of 11
Dont worry about too much too soon.(smoke that is )... just go with it! We're talking about a Fatty here, not prime rib!
post #9 of 11

Chips vs chunks

After reading your post, it might be using chunks instead of chips to get your smoke going consistently. I'm no expert yet but what I have been doing is what Jeff recommended and I cut down a coffee can and I use chips and the old square box that my GOSM came with. I start out with the original smoke box first with foil just over the top of the box (not wrapping chips) and poke some holes in it. After the smoke dies down I have the cut down coffee can filled with chips at the ready, and I use my welding gloves and take out the whole burner tray remove the box quickly throw on the coffee can reinsert the whole deal and go for another round of smoke. I repeat the process for however long I'm smoking. My fatties are averaging about 3 hours. but I'm always smoking something else along with them. I usually have them on the top rack.
post #10 of 11
Wow, this seems way more complicated than what I experienced with my small GOSM. I put 190* water from a hot water dispenser in the water pan. Then I just put the provided wood and water pan in place and preheat the whole unit while I am preparing stuff to go in. Then put 2-3 wood chunks in and in about 15 minutes it starts to smoke. Then load it up and go.
post #11 of 11
I am by no means good at this yet, I am new myself but I thought my observations might help. I also have the GOSM and put a needle valve in to better regulate a lower temp. I am using the factory wood box. I wet my chips(I know some do not) I use a mix of small chips and big chunks and fill the box. I have been leaving the top off. I start the smoker and get it up around 250 and in 20 to 25 minutes I am getting a good smoke. Fro there I put in grub and lower the temp control to get it down to 225 or where I want it depending on food. As the others have said with fattys I do not believe running a bit hotter will hurt ya.
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